The internet is an amazing tool, and has done nothing short of transforming the way we live our lives. Today the way we order food, the way we communicate and the way we do business has all been transformed by the web – and it’s fair to say that it’s become fairly ubiquitous and something we’ve become used to using on a daily basis.
But there is another side to the internet, there’s the parts of the web that are used for underground movements of things you never knew existed, there are the parts of the web where illegal and fringe activities go on, and there are the uses of the net that you just didn’t know could exist. Here we will look at some of those, at the ‘hidden’ internet that exists alongside the one you use but that you rarely come into contact with.
The idea of the Onion Land is to provide a version of the internet that is entirely anonymous. Of course at this point you might be thinking ‘but I thought the internet was anonymous?’ – and indeed this is probably something that you previously thought of as one of the big benefits of using the web in the first place. But while we don’t use our names when we surf the web often, there are other ways that we can be tracked and monitored – through the use of our IP addresses for instance and other similar technical methods and this then means you could potentially get into trouble for talking about the wrong thing – particularly in parts of the world where censorship still reigns.
Onion Land then exists in order to provide a truly unmonitored version of the web that allows people to operate completely unseen by their respective governments and is a forum that can only be accessed by users running the ‘Tor’ browser to ensure complete anonymity. Of course what people actually want to talk about on these lengths that can’t be seen by other people I don’t know, and at the same time there probably still are ways you can be traced… but it’s certainly an exciting notion.
The Underground Movements
The internet is also a fantastic place for underground movements to flourish and to grow. The fact that everyone is connected via the web means that people can discuss topics and ideas with people across the world when no one else is interested or understands. Just to give you an idea, ‘The Biohacking’ movement is a movement of people who are interested in expanding the capabilities of the human body, and who go about achieving this by making incisions in their skin so they can insert magnets and tiny microchips. The ‘free running’ movement meanwhile also gained much of its momentum and prominence via the web.
Negative SEO is not so much an underground movement or hidden part of the web as much as a technique used by websites and blogs that you might just never have thought was possible. Here a webmaster will attempt to take out their opposition by actually promoting those sites in such an aggressive manner that Google eventually penalizes and takes them down. Other similar practices include creating ‘Google Bombs’ to get random sites to the top of Google for unrelated terms and ‘Google Bowling’. Next time you see a list of results just think how much warfare might have gone on to secure those positions.